Help Your Teen Drive Better

From perfectly-timed turn signals to parking like a pro at the grocery store, your teen has mastered the basics of driving. Before they take their driving test and experience their newfound freedom, help them fine-tune their skills with new routes and routines that help them make smart, safe choices behind the wheel.

5 Ways To Grow Their Confidence

Harness the power of highways. Practice going on and off ramps, merging with traffic and changing lanes. When they feel confident, drive together in heavy, rush-hour traffic.

Practice the tricky stuff. Say hello to everyone’s (not so) favorite activities ─ parallel parking  and parking on a hill.

Rehearse in reverse. Teach them how to back up in busy areas with kids, foot traffic and pedestrians – a busy parking lot, for example. Watch to make sure they physically look behind their car before pulling out.

Master the elements. On a rainy or snowy day, drive to a familiar destination, and then try driving to a new destination.

The long haul. Take at least one road trip that’s an hour in each direction on a highway. Bonus points if you get ice cream somewhere along the way!

5 Ways to Help Them Drive Smarter

Scenario planning. It’s completely possible that your teen won’t encounter certain situations before they get their license. Take time to talk through how to handle less common situations: pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, deer crossings, blind spots, etc.

Speedy stops. Have them slam on the breaks while driving 25 or 30 mph so they can get used to how the anti-lock brakes feel.

Prep for left. Practice making left turns in traffic – and explain how to avoid pulling in front of another car.

Learn the loop. Tackle roundabouts if they’re popular in your area. Hold on!

Introduce their trip buddy. Teach them how to follow GPS instructions safely while en route to a destination – like setting the endpoint before they even start driving.

Looking for other ways to support your teen as they learn to drive? American Family’s free, award-winning Teen Safe Driver Program is an innovative way to help talk to your teen about making smart choices behind the wheel.

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Related Topics: On The Road